Troian Bellisario: Anorexia ‘Never Really Goes Away’

Troian Bellisario may be known as a Pretty Little Liar, but the actress is refreshingly honest when it comes to her struggles with an eating disorder.

Most recently, Bellisario spoke candidly about her battle with anorexia with PLL director Lesli Linka Glatter for Interview magazine. During the conversation, Bellisario said that, despite her strong support system, her experience with the illness was extremely isolating.

“I couldn’t get anyone—even the people who loved me the most, even my boyfriend or my mother or my father—to understand what that experience was truly like for me,” she shared with Glatter. “I found there were so many people who thought that it was about losing weight or being skinny, and I couldn’t quite get them to understand that it was about control on a very, very literal level.”

And despite her recovery, the disorder—and that battle for control—is still something she grapples with daily.

“Once you have this relationship, once you have this mental illness or this disease, it never really goes away,” the 31-year-old actress said. “Your synapses are wired in a way that you will always feel this compulsion, but as you grow older and create a healthier life and go through lots of therapy, you tend to feel more empowered when it comes to making these choices.”

For Bellisario, those two factors—the lack of understanding and newfound empowerment—inspired her to share her story in its rawest form through her new movie, Feed, which she wrote, directed, and stars in. And the process of confronting her eating disorder through art has been largely cathartic, Bellisario tells Glatter.

“My neural pathways were all still there and connected to the disease, so when I had to engage with the film, it was like poking a sleeping dragon,” Bellisario said. “But it’s amazing that you can have this huge, life-threatening thing be a part of you and still live inside of you, and almost tame it in a weird way.”

This isn’t the first time that Bellisario has discussed her eating disorder. She told Seventeen back in 2014 that her eating disorder first emerged as a teenager as a method of self-punishment. “I would withhold food or withhold going out with my friends, based on how well I did that day in school,” she told the magazine. Later, in 2016, she participated in a powerful voting PSA for Hillary Clinton and spoke about her history with anorexia. “With anorexia, a lot of it is presenting a front of ‘everything is OK’ as you’re slowly killing yourself,” Bellisario said in the clip. Her new film, Feed, is her latest medium for sharing her ongoing experience with the disease. The indie teen drama premieres on July 18.

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Source Article from http://www.self.com/story/troian-bellisario-eating-disorder-film